Balochistan-Foreign Forces Destabilize Pakistan
Although in the recent years, Pakistan’s civil and military high officials have been saying that foreign hands are behind the insurgency in Balochistan province in order to destabilize Pakistan, yet army chief’s clear statement in this respect is notable.
During his visit to Quetta, Chief of Army Staff Gen. Raheel Sharif on April 15, this year warned foreign forces and spy agencies against destabilizing Pakistan by supporting insurgents in Balochistan. Gen. Raheel elaborated, “Army will continue supporting the Balochistan government till terrorism is wiped out…those found involved in funding and facilitating terrorists will be dealt with iron hands.”
Expressing his condolences over killing of 20 workers in Turbat, he also warned all miscreants and anti-state elements to refrain from their terror-activities.
In fact, Gen. Raheel Sharif was compelled to expose conspiracy against Pakistan after the gunmen killed 20 laborers in the deadliest attack on April 11, who were working at a dam construction site in the Turbat district of Baluchistan.
On the same day of the incident, Balochistan’s Chief Minister Dr Abdul Malik Baloch and Interior Minister Sarfraz Bugti said that a militant group funded by Indian spy agency, RAW was behind the brutal attack in Turbat.
However, as part of the strategic game in Balochistan, negative role of foreign forces and intelligence agencies which are working against the integrity of Pakistan needs attention.
When during the Musharraf regime, Pakistan government initiated the construction of Gwadar deep-seaport in Balochistan province in March 2002 with Chinese assistance, sirens went off in the capitals of foreign countries, especially the United States, India and Israel. The US took it as a threat to its global plans, and India felt that it threatened its integrity. Israel took it as a greater threat from an Islamic country.
Located on the southwestern coast of Pakistan, Balochistan’s Gwadar seaport is close to the Strait of Hormuz from where more than 17 million barrels of oil passes every day. Its ideal location among three key regions, South Asia, the oil-rich Middle East, and oil and gas-resourced Central Asia has further increased its strategic significance. Its development has shifted the Great Game of Central Asia to Pakistan. Hence, sirens still continue alarming in the foreign countries.
And, Balochistan’s abundant mineral resources like gas, coal and gold, entailing Pakistan’s close ties with China pinches the eyes of the US, India, Israel and some western countries which intend to destabilize Pakistan for their collective aims. Besides, Gwadar’s development has created strategic irritations among certain powers including America, India, Iran and Afghanistan.
Therefore, with the tactical support of American CIA and Israeli Mossad, Indian RAW has continuously been assisting the Baloch separatist groups and Baloch Sub Nationalists to conduct subversive acts—and using terrorist elements in Balochistan to threat Chinese interest in the development of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). However, Afghanistan has become a hub from where external secret agencies have been funding and arranging subversive activities in other parts of Pakistan—especially in Balochistan through their affiliated militant groups at the cost of Pakistan, China and Iran. In the past few years, they abducted and killed many Chinese and Iranian nationals in Pakistan.
It is of particular attention, that Indian former Army Chief Gen. VK Singh openly admitted that during his tenure, he supervised special army unit, Tactical Support Division (TSD) on the instructions of the then defence minister to sponsor acts of sabotage in Pakistan, particularly Balochistan.
It is mentionable that during his trip to Beijing, Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang signed eight agreements on July 5, 2013 in various fields. The most important one envisages the establishment of CPEC between deep Gwadar seaport of Balochistan and the historic Silk Road city in western regions-Xinjiang of China—connecting to Gilgit-Baltistan through Khunjerab Pass. Beijing has also offered to build an international airport, while the roads infrastructure in Gwadar would be connected with the communication network of rest of the country to facilitate transportation of goods. By rejecting US growing pressure, Pakistan has handed over the control of Gwader seaport to China.
While, in May, 2013, a day before Chinese Premier Li Keqiang arrived in Islamabad; Chinese engineers being driven through Clifton Block-1 in Karachi escaped a major bomb attack.
It is worth-mentioning that during China’s visit, Gen. Raheel Sharif, on January 25, 2015, China’s Vice Chairman of Central Military Commission Gen. Fan has assured that China will assist Pakistan in every challenge.
It is noteworthy that in February 8, 2012, three Republican Congressmen including Dana Rohrabacher, Louie Gohmert and Steve King tabled a bill before US Congress stating, “Balochistan is currently divided between Pakistan, Iran and Afghanistan with no sovereign rights of its own. In Pakistani Balochistan the people are subjected to violence and extrajudicial killings.” The bill favoured Baloch rights of self-determination, having a sovereign state—and must be afforded the opportunity to choose their own status.
As regards the deteriorating situation of Balochistan, everyone knows that Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA) and their affiliated outfits including another group, Jundollah (God’s soldiers) which have been fighting for secession of the province gets logistic support from RAW and other anti-Pakistan spy agencies—these militants kidnapped and killed many innocent people and the security personnel in the province. They also massacred many persons through suicide attacks, bomb blasts, targeted killings and sectarian violence. Hence, they are responsible for dumped bodies and extrajudicial killings in the province. On a number of occasions, these insurgent groups claimed responsibility for their subversive acts. The main aim behind is to create unrest in Balochistan and to discourage Beijing for the development of Gwadar port.
Taking cognizance of the foreign powers’ anti-Pakistan designs, Islamabad has made extraordinary security arrangements, as Chinese President Xi Jinping is likely to visit Pakistan on April 20, this year.
It is remarkable that a Gallup survey of the UK official body, DFID, conducted on July 20, 212, had disclosed that the vast majority of the Baloch people oppose the idea of an independent Balochistan.
As a result of the general elections 2013, the government led by the nationalist leader Chief Minister Balochistan Dr. Abdul Malik Baloch was established in Balochistan, while on December 7, 2013; local bodies elections were largely held in a peaceful manner in the province. These elections proved that majority of the Baloch are loyal to the federation, and have rejected the case of separatists, being projected by foreign forces which are destabilizing Pakistan by supporting anti-state elements in Balochistan.
Sajjad Shaukat writes on international affairs and is author of the book: US vs Islamic Militants, Invisible Balance of Power: Dangerous Shift in International Relations